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Category Press Release
Publish Date 8/9/2021
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Recreational Water Users Warned of Toxic Algal Mats in California Rivers
Introduction LA Testing provides laboratory services and sampling supplies to identify aquatic contaminants, harmful algal blooms, and toxins.

Huntington Beach, CA, August 9th, 2021

Earlier this summer, California’s State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and a California county’s Department of Environmental Health Services advised caution for anyone who boats, fishes, or swims, after harmful algal blooms (HABs) were discovered in multiple rivers within one county.

There were sightings of suspected HABs in two rivers and one creek. These were later confirmed to be potentially toxic algal mats growing on the bottom of the rivers which may detach and become stranded on banks. Warning signs and educational posters have been posted at the rivers that advise recreational water users to avoid touching any suspicious-looking algal material found in the water or along riverbanks.

The State Water Board recommends that people practice healthy water habits when visiting lakes, rivers, or streams. Recreational water users should:

  • Heed all instructions on posted advisories.
  • Avoid algae and scum in the water and on the shore.
  • Keep an eye on children and pets.
  • If you think a harmful algal bloom or toxic algal mats are present, do not let pets and other animals go into or drink the water or eat scum/algal mats on the shore.
  • Don’t drink the water or use it for cooking.
  • Wash yourself, your family, and your pets with clean water after water play.
  • If you catch fish, throw away guts and clean fillets with tap water or bottled water before cooking.
  • Avoid eating shellfish if you think a harmful algal bloom is present.

“HABs occur each year in fresh and marine waters across California,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at LA Testing. “Red tides, blue-green algae, and cyanobacteria are all examples of HABs that can have a severe impact on human health, aquatic ecosystems, and even the economy. At LA Testing, our laboratory specialists provide a wide range of testing services, including algal identification, algal biomass analysis, and various algal toxins testing from water, air, and soil samples.”

LA Testing has also sponsored an educational video about harmful algal blooms that can be seen at:

To learn more about this or other environmental, health, and safety testing services, please visit, email, or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash, and smoke damage, particulates, and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health, and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego, and Ontario.

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